Even if you love gardening and maintaining your yard, broken equipment and the wrong tool for your spring clean-up can turn an enjoyable past-time into a pain-staking task. New garden equipment tires on your old equipment, and a properly functioning utility trailer can save you time and money. Sometimes a new tire, properly inflated, is all it takes to return your old wheelbarrow, tractor, mower, tiller or hand-cart to peak operating condition. There are four things to consider when picking replacement garden equipment tires.
- Type (Tube/tubeless, radial/bias)
- Tire Size
- Tire Tread Pattern
- Tire Load Capacity
With this information you can find and install the right replacement garden equipment tires yourself. Here is some additional information about the tires on the equipment used by the typical homeowner or recreational gardener.
Wheelbarrow Tires and Hand-cart Tires
Any avid gardener with a good size yard likely has a wheelbarrow or a hand-cart. The tires on smaller wheel-barrows and carts are usually solid rubber. Little maintenance is needed for these types of tires, and they rarely wear out before the equipment breaks. Medium sized and larger wheelbarrows and carts have pneumatic, or air filled tires. These tires do require maintenance, and need to be replaced occasionally. Pneumatic tires roll much easier than solid tires, make the equipment more stable, easier to handle, and cause less compaction and damage to turf. Since most wheelbarrows have only one tire, the condition of the tire and wheel assembly is very important to proper operation. In fact, if you maintain your wheelbarrow, it can last for many decades and the only thing that you need to replace or repair occasionally will be the tire. The same is true for hand-carts and other lawn and garden equipment tires that we will discuss later.
- Repair vs Replacing Garden Equipment Tires
Most wheelbarrow and hand-cart tires are bias-ply tires with a tube inside to hold the air. If your tire has a slow leak and is frequently going flat, you may only need to repair or replace the tube. You should take the tire from the wheel and remove the tube. This is usually easily down by wedging two or more flat head screw drivers between the tire and the rim. Once the tire has been removed, check for a puncture by holding the semi inflated tire under water in a bucket. If you find the leak, consider repairing the tube with a bicycle tire patch kit. It is easy to do, and very often this repair is all that is needed to make your wheelbarrow or hand-cart operational again. Before you reinstall the tube in the tire, check the inner liner of the tire for thorns, nails or other sharp objects that are still imbedded in the rubber and causing the puncture. Most people find that it is harder to put the tube and tire back on the rim, then it was to remove the tire in the first place! If you are having trouble mounting the repaired tube and tire, consider taking it to your nearest tire dealer or garden shop. Most will perform this service for free or for a nominal fee.
- Sizing Wheelbarrow and Other Small Lawn and Garden Equipment Tires
If the tire can not be repaired, or you need a different type of tread for your specific work, you will first need to find the tire type and size. A common sizing system for wheelbarrow and hand-cart tires are 2 numbers, separated by a hyphen. The size could also be a series of 3 numbers separated by an “X” or a “/”. The two most common sizes are 4.00 – 6 and 4.10 – 6. The first number is the height of the tire sidewall, and the second number is the rim diameter. To get the overall diameter you need to do some math! 6 (rim diameter) + 4.00 (sidewall height) X 2 = 14 inches total diameter. An inexpensive, good quality wheelbarrow tire or hand-cart tire in these sizes is the Nanco S-379 Wheelbarrow Rib tire, available on Tires-easy.com.
- Tread Pattern
Once you have found and noted the numbers and any special markings that accompany the size, the rest of the lawn & garden tire replacement buying process is easy. If the tire to be replaced gave tread you enough traction, and was appropriate for the work you do in your garden and yard, then a replacement tire with the same tread style is the best option. Occasionally you may find that another tread style could improve your efficiency. Quite commonly, gardeners that work often in wet conditions, or on sloped ground need a tire with more traction compared to the ribbed tread pattern of the original tire. A good wheelbarrow and hand-cart tire with a knobby tread for more traction is the WDT P605 Tire.
- Load Rating
The last step in finding the right replacement tire is the load rating. If you regularly experience flat tires on your wheelbarrow or hand-cart, you may want to change the tire for one with heavy duty sidewalls. More sidewall plies means the tire can support more load, and is stronger to protect against puncture. The Greenball Sawtooth tire has a strong 4-ply sidewall and is reinforced for heavy residential use.
Ride-on Mower Tires and Tractor Tires
If you have acreage, live on a farm, or have a large lawn, you probably have a tractor or ride-on mower. Tires on this type of equipment do wear out and need to be replaced. You want to replace with the exact same size tire that came on the equipment. A popular size of tire for the rear axle of ride-on mowers and garden tractors is 18 X 9.50-8. This means the overall diameter of the tire is 18-inches with a width of 9.50-inches, fitted on a 8-inch rim.
If you are replacing all the tires on your ride-on mower or tractor, you can pick a different tread pattern that is most appropriate for the surface you work on most often. For example, some homeowners use their tractors mostly for towing small utility trailers on paved driveways or hard-packed trails. In this case, a knobby tire wears out too quickly. A better choice for use on pavement or hard packed trails is a tire like the Gladiator Turf Tires. The tread has densely packed blocks that make it a versatile tire for use on trails and pavement. This type of tread on a zero radius mower or garden tractor would also work well as it would not rip and tear the turf during sharp turns. For extra traction on wet turf, or general tractor use in wet climates, the WDT P512 tire is a popular choice. It will give you more traction, but wear-out faster. There are plenty of other tread patterns to pick from on Tires-easy.com according to how much traction you need and how you use your tractor.
A tiller is another piece of equipment commonly found in the garden shed of homeowners with a green thumb. They are a practical tool, however the nature of the work often leads to damaged tires. As the prongs pull the tiller through the soil, the tires are occasionally punctured or cut by severed roots or sharp rocks. If this is the case in your garden, you should consider a heavier ply rating on your replacement tire. The most common size of tire on tillers is 13X5-6. A popular style in this size tire is the Power King D407 Lug tire. As you can see by the photo on the left, it has big traction bars like a farm tractor tire. Under the tread, it also has extra plies needed to protect the tire from damage.
Utility Trailer Tires
Utility trailers are another necessary piece of equipment for many homeowners and gardeners. They can be used to haul away clippings and yard waste, and to transport soil or manure for your flower and vegetable gardens. They are often called into service to carry lawn and garden equipment to and from other locations, or for hauling small loads of lumber for fences or other home improvement jobs. You want to make sure your trailer tires are kept in safe operating condition, and you should check the air pressure before every usage, particularly if the utility trailer has been sitting unused for extended periods of time.
Most homeowners find that smaller utility trailers meet their needs. As such, the tires are considerably smaller than car tires. The tires on most small utility trailers are on 8-inch wheels to 12-inch wheels. Like for lawn and garden equipment, the tire size can be found on the side of the tire. Most utility trailer tires are approved for highway usage, however you should check to ensure your tires have the D.O.T. stamp on the tire before using the trailer on public roads. A versatile and long-lasting tire for utility trailers is the Nanco N205 Bias ST Trailer Tire. It comes in the most common small trailer tire sizes, is D.O.T. approved, with a bias-ply internal construction for strength and value.
Where to Buy Garden Equipment Tires and Utility Trailer Tires
Tires-easy.com has a great selection of small utility trailer tires, and all the other garden equipment tires typically found in the garage or storage shed of an avid gardener.Simply visit tires-easy.com and enter your tire size in the red tire selector on the left of the screen. A photo and a general description of all the available tires will be listed. You can filter on a brand or style, or sort by price to find the tire that best fits your budget and needs to keep your lawn and garden equipment in peak operating condition.